RARA-AVIS: Pelecanos - My Five Most Important Crime Novels

From: Michael S. Chong (menglish47@yahoo.com)
Date: 03 Oct 2008

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    From Newsweek dated Sep 29, 2008 http://www.newsweek.com/id/160097

    My Five Most Important Crime Novels

                The Long Goodbye
                " by Raymond Chandler. A melancholic ode to loss and the passage of time.

                The Burglar
                " by David Goodis. Hypnotic prose and a shocking ending. Call it pulp if you have the need to. It's disturbing art.

                "The Last Good Kiss" by James Crumley. The post-Vietnam stunner that reinvigorated the genre and jacked up a generation of future crime novelists.

                4. "Swag" by Elmore Leonard. Down-and-dirty, this one smokes front to back, and the voice is one of a kind.

                5. "Clockers" by Richard Price. My generation's "Grapes of Wrath."

              A CLASSIC YOU'VE REVISITED WITH DISAPPOINTMENT: "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo. Except for the page that features Sonny and the bridesmaid. That page never disappoints.

              A BOOK YOU HOPE PARENTS READ TO THEIR KIDS: "True Grit" by Charles Portis. A great adult novel with a strong, teenage female protagonist.
    ***Interesting choices...  I'm surprised Pelecanos did not include Newton Thornburg's "Cutter and Bone" for which he wrote an introduction for a reissue. Michael


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